Bottled Blonde Is Cleared Of State Law Violations By TABC, Lawmakers Ask Gov. Abbott to Expand Broadband Internet Access Across Texas And More.

Another day, another wave of students going back to school against the wishes of many teachers and public health experts. There’s also another wave of bars opening back up, and along with it, a group of state and city officials who give said bars permission to do so.

For more on this, here are some of the latest developments:

  • On Monday, Dallas County reported 440 additional cases and three new deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Dallas County to 75,648, and the death toll to 976. Of Monday’s reported cases, 340 are from September, while the remaining 100 were from previous months.

  • Currently, 4,095 out of 5,891 hospital beds in Dallas are occupied, which brings the total occupancy to approximately 70%. 650 out of 916 ICU beds are filled, while 334 out of 993 ventilators are in use.
  • Public schools throughout North Texas are now gearing up for a transition from online learning to in-person class instruction. Frisco ISD has given parents the option to opt their children into the latter setting should they desire to do so, but they will continue offering online learning throughout the remainder of the school year. Grand Prairie ISD is making similar accommodations having already resumed in-person classes on Monday, but the district took it a step further and is now offering free meals to all enrolled students (students undergoing virtual learning are eligible for free curbside meal pickups.) Conversely, Krum Middle School and Krum High School are confining sessions to an online setting for now, as six staff members and one student were reported to have active cases.
  • More than 100 faculty members at Southern Methodist University have expressed concern about the school’s decision to resume in-person classes, even as COVID-19 cases are on a considerably sharp rise. This comes after 232 active cases were reported on the campus since Friday and a petition urging the university to give faculty and staff the option to work remotely amassed more than 800 signatures.
  • A bipartisan group of 88 Texas lawmakers has penned a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, asking that they go forward with a plan to expand access to broadband internet across the state. As a record number of Americans are forced to work from home amid the pandemic, a large number of rural Texans have insufficient access to broadband, the letter argues.
  • The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Dallas Code Compliance office have exonerated Bottled Blonde of alleged violations that the Deep Ellum bar has been operating like a nightclub. The latter noted that Bottled Blonde has been compliant with the 50% occupancy stipulation, and according to TABC spokesman Chris Porter, the agency found no violations of Gov. Abbott’s orders in the span of four visits between June and July. This comes after the bar drew ire on social media earlier this summer for what appeared to be disregard for pandemic safety guidelines.
  • Speaking of bars in Deep Ellum, Brain Dead Brewing has announced this reopening over the weekend, even as co-owner Sam Wynne expressed that such a move was “against [his] wishes.” Wynne elaborated on this in a since-deleted Facebook post of which Eater Dallas has posted screenshots.

That concludes our biweekly COVID-19 news roundup. Be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing when applicable.

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